Monday, 29 December 2014

Picture books with animals as activists

Nothing like a little bit of anarchy to bring in the New Year :)

I just love text sets/companion texts and think they really help the students to make text-to-text connections using compare/contrast of textual features etc. to develop higher order thinking.  The picture books I am featuring today work together beautifully.

Let's start with Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin and what a controversial little picture book this has become!  I love this story of literate cows who can type and leave notes for Farmer Brown regarding improvements they want to see made to their conditions on the farm.  The social critical literacy person is like = Yay for social action!

Here's a little overview of ideas I put together using the Four Resource Model.  Find out more about the Four Resource Model for a balanced approach to literacy planning here. Unfortunately the hyperlinks in the table below won't work, however I will post some of the links to the issues around this book below the table.

However, others have interpreted the intent behind this entertaining story quite differently as you can see in the text analyst section of the table above.  You can read some of the controversy here and here.  What do you think?

Teaching resources for "Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type" can be found here.

Dear Mrs LaRue: Letters From Obedience School by Mark Teague is a wonderful companion text in that Ike LaRue is unhappy with being "imprisoned" at the Canine Academy and tries everything he can to be sent home including writing weepy letters to Mrs LaRue and feigning illness.  Another creative text for studying point of view, letter writing and persuasive text.  A letter template is available from Scholastic here, comprehension and vocabulary work based on the story here,  and a lesson plan on persuasive writing based on the book here

The Sheep Go on Strike by Jean-Francois Dumont is a wonderful story to teach about collaboration, teamwork and compromise.  The sheep are sick of being sheared so they decide to go on strike and the rest of the animals start to take sides until they all sit down together and the sheep learn how important their wool is to the farm.  the animals work together to come up with a creative solution to everyone's problem, so it is also an excellent story for problem/solution top level structure.

Animal Strike at the Zoo by Karma Wilson
focuses on the chaos at the zoo when the lions and bears refuse to roar, prowl and growl and go on strike.

I haven't used this text, so if you have, please leave a comment below about whether you would recommend it or not.

Finally, The Great Reindeer Rebellion by Lisa Trumbauer is my most recent purchase. The paperback edition was only published in 2014.  The reindeer are sick of pulling Santa's heavy sleigh, so they go on strike. Santa writes up a wanted advertisement for substitute animals and the results are hilarious.  Written in rhyme as an innovation on The Night Before Christmas, this is bound to be a firm favourite. 

It's also a terrific mentor text for teaching verbs, rhyming words, cause/effect and problem/solution.  This would be a terrific text to compare and contrast to "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" as Santa learns to compromise and meet the reindeers' demands to a sauna, real beds, a heater and cable television.

Do you know any other texts that would fit in with this text set about animals taking action against their current conditions?  If so, I would love you to leave a comment below so I may grow my collection.  Also if you know any other resources to match these texts, please leave the links below.  To leave a comment, just click on the link underneath my signature avatar.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and all the very best for 2015.